Illinois law firm Lake Toback DiDomenico has been given leave to file a “friend of the court brief” in a case currently before the state’s Supreme Court. The case is In re Marriage of Earlywine [No. 114779 Ill. Sup. Ct.], which presents a question of first impression having to do with the forfeiture of an attorney’s retainer in a divorce action. Earlywine has the potential to set an important precedent.
Amicus curiae – Latin for “friend of the court” – is a term applied to someone with a strong interest in the subject matter of a legal case who wishes to educate the court on points of law, provide useful information to the court or highlight important aspects of the case that may otherwise go overlooked. A friend of the court is not a party to the legal action, but is a third party looking to advance a broader public interest at stake in the case. In appellate cases, amicus briefs may typically only be filed with the permission of the court.
Michael G. DiDomenico, a partner at Lake Toback DiDomenico, spearheaded amicus efforts in the Earlywine case. “We are thrilled the Illinois Supreme Court saw fit to accept our brief as friend of the court,” said DiDomenico. “It’s unusual for the court to allow private counsel to appear as amicus in these types of cases.”
A decision is expected in Earlywine within four to six months.